Media Hits & Misses

Edward Bernays, Corporate Propaganda & Engineering Consent For Empire With Mark Crispin Miller

The most influential man of the 20th and 21st centuries… ***** [Editor’s Note: While few know his name, Edward Benays was nephew of Sigmund Freud and can arguably be tagged as the most influential person of the 2oth — and on into the 21st — century. His work on how to form, shape and direct public opinion through subtle framing of wants, desires, hates and loves created the field of corporate public relations and government propaganda. If you want to get a deep understanding of it do a YouTube search of the four-part BBC series “Century of the Self”. —…

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NY Times’ Reporter Covered For Dem Architects Of A “false flag” Election Campaign In Alabama

  By Dan Cohen Grayzone Project (1/23/19) In September 2017, New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane attended an off-the-record event in Washington, DC held by American Engagement Technologies, a data firm run by Obama administration veteran Mikey Dickerson. Shane was not there simply as an observer – he was invited to speak on his supposed subject of expertise: “Soviet and Russian disinformation.” It was at that meeting where Shane learned of “Project Birmingham,” an online disinformation campaign waged against voters in the 2017 Alabama senate race between Republican Roy Moore and its eventual winner, Democrat Doug Jones. The…


“I Was Absolutely Afraid”: Indigenous Elder On “Mob Mentality” Of MAGA Hat-Wearing Students In D.C.

  Democracy Now! (1/22/19) On Friday [2/22], thousands took part in the Indigenous Peoples March in Washington, D.C. The next day, video went viral of an interaction that took place soon after the march ended between an indigenous elder and a group of Catholic high school students from Kentucky who had attended a March for Life protest the same day. In the video, Omaha elder Nathan Phillips is seen peacefully playing his drum and singing while being encircled by the students—some of whom were wearing red “Make America Great Again” hats. The video appears to show the students taunting and…


Investigative Reporter James Risen Describes His Long Fight To Report On Government Secrets At The New York Times

Cheney/Bush & Obama officials and New York Times editors conspired to suppress the information that was eventually released by Edward Snowden a decade later. By Jeremy Scahill Intercepted (1/5/19) Investigative journalist James Risen fought hard to get classified information published at The New York Times, where editors were quite willing to cooperate with the government. In this video, Intercepted host Jeremy Scahill speaks to Risen about his yearslong battle with the Department of Justice — spanning both the Bush and the Obama administrations — as well as his struggles with his own editors at the New York Times. Link to…


Trump “Blew it Bigly” With “Wet Fart” Of An Awful ‘Offal’ Office Address

“Death twitch of The Wall cult.” “This speech wasn’t about saving his utterly fake wall. The $5.7 billion dollars he’s demanded as his vig for ending the shutdown isn’t even close to being seriously considered, and this speech was an overt admission he’s out of airspeed, altitude, and ideas. The crisis he proudly created will end without a wall, and he knows it. “This speech was supposed to be about forcing the national dialogue to stay on the border wall. No such luck. He reeked of defeat, clearly didn’t want to be there, and it showed. “Trump looked exhausted, squinty,…


Corporate Media Condemned For Handing Trump Megaphone To Spout Racist ‘Stream of Lies’ For A Capaign Event

“Trump just launched his 2020 re-election campaign with, essentially, the same speech he used at Trump Tower in 2015, when he first ranted about Mexican rapists and murderers. And the media paid for it.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (1/9/19) After President Donald Trump exploited the enormous free platform he was needlessly granted by America’s major television networks Tuesday night to deliver an immigration address replete with the same disinformation and dehumanizing rhetoriche has deployed since stepping foot on the campaign trail, critics denounced the corporate media’s continued role in amplifying Trump’s speeches despite knowing they will be full of harmful lies. “Trump…


Veteran NBC Reporter Rips Pro-War Posture Of Corporate Media In Scathing Resignation Letter

  By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (1/3/19) In a biting resignation letter published in full by CNN on Wednesday, longtime NBC News reporter, commentator, and military analyst William “Bill” Arkin blasted the corporate media network for embracing U.S. “national security leaders and generals” while “ignoring the empirical truth of what they have wrought: There is not one county in the Middle East that is safer today than it was 18 years ago. Indeed the world becomes ever more polarized and dangerous.” Reflecting on his past couple of decades working with the network—in addition to writing books and columns for major newspapers and serving as as military adviser to…


A Commoner Writes — Media In The Age Of Trump — Lampreys & Cud-Chewing

  A loved one watches MSNBC and CNN all the time. They are like a snarl of lampreys locking onto every tweet and utterance Trump pukes out and spending hours sucking it dry until the next one comes along. And they’re supposed to be the relatively good ones. It’s toxic. And it pollutes the minds of those who watch, hooking them on anticipating the next putrid morsel or endlesdly cud-chewing the last one and injecting the bile into the media discourse. Imagine if this is how people were informed about their choice of doctors or even cars. People think it’s…


Netflix Caves To Saudi Arabia & Pulls Comedy Show

  By Mattha Busby The Guardian (1/1/18) Netflix has taken down an episode of a satirical comedy show critical of Saudi Arabia in the country after officials from the kingdom complained, sparking criticism from Human Rights Watch, which said the act undermined the streaming service’s “claim to support artistic freedom”. It comes three months after the brutal killing of the Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi – which US senators have blamed on the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman – and as the war in Yemen continues to devastate the country. “Netflix’s claim to support artistic freedom means nothing if it bows…



Emergency! In Our Time Of Bullying Authoritarians It’s Time For The Press To Evolve

By George Lakoff George Lakoff’s Facebook Page (12/18/18) Attacks on the free press, and constant lying by political leaders, aren’t just happening here in the United States. These tactics are also being used by authoritarian leaders in other countries who are taking power using the same tactics as Trump. These leaders understand how the press works, and they use its own tendencies against it in their efforts to erode democracy and freedom. They lie, knowing the press will repeat the lies. They create distractions because they know the press will chase the distractions. They release bad news when they think…


Setting The Record Straight: The Life And (Partial) List Of The Many Crimes Of George Herbert Walker Bush

  “You cannot make this stuff up.” Family fortune enriched by Nazi slave labor Secret slush funds Tax evasion Nixon dirty tricks operator Assassination cover-ups Mobster ties and murder cover-ups Protection of terrorists Cozy business ties with Osama bin Laden family Treason Secret deals with Iran’s Ayatollah Khomeini Union busting Protecting banksters Protecting right wing dictators Financing Central American death squads Obstruction of justice Enabling Saudi 9/11 terrorists Lying U.S. into two wars Support of torture & terrorism Racism Hate mongering Murder of innocents War crimes Taking orders from Saudi Arabia Ties to Sun Yung Moon Voting corruption, disenfranchisement and…


Free & Open Press? Mmm, Not So Much In The World Of American Corporate Media

Jim Hightower in LaCrosse, Wisconsin for a 2016 campaign event. Free The Free Press From Wall Street Plunderers Texas populist Jim Hightower’s columns have been distributed by Creators Syndicate for a decade—but the agency said they had to take a pass on this one. “The big, hedge-fund owned newspaper chains that Hightower calls out in his column are big customers of theirs, and as such, they don’t want to risk offending them,” says Hightower assistant Melody Byrd (Corporate Crime Reporter, 11/29/18). “While Creators’ reluctance to anger these powerful interests is somewhat understandable, the implications are frightening. It’s one more example of this dangerous time…


Russian Trolls Prey Upon & Pry Open The Toxic Way We Do Our Politics

  By Rafael Behr The Guardian (11/13/18) To understand the current political frenzy on both sides of the Atlantic, it helps to know Tortuous Convolvulus. Unfamiliar with his work? Convolvulus was a spy, operating around 50BC, a specialist in psychological warfare. He was deployed by Julius Caesar against a stubborn Gallic rebellion, and his methods were not so different to those of Russian cyber-saboteurs against western democracies. It is worth adding that Convolvulus is a character from Asterix and the Roman Agent, a book known to most English readers in translation by Anthea Bell. The sad news of Bell’s death last month triggered many…


Meet The Russian KGB Spies Who Invented Fake News

A never ending, exhausting game of Whack-A-Mole The New York Times (11/19/18) In Episode 1 of Operation InfeKtion, we reveal how one of the biggest fake news stories ever concocted — the 1984 AIDS-is-a-biological-weapon hoax — went viral in the pre-Internet era. Meet the KGB cons who invented it, and the “truth squad” that quashed it. For a bit. Read the story here: www.nytimes.com/disinformation Link to 15-Minute Video ***** The Seven Commandments Of Russian Disinformation Fake News  The New York Times (11/20/18) Episode 2, Operation InfeKtion: The Pizzagate Playbook — same tactics, new technologies. How the seven rules of Soviet…


Dictionary.com’s Word Of The Year Is … ‘Misinformation’

Dictionary.com (11/26/18) The rampant spread of misinformation poses new challenges for navigating life in 2018. As a dictionary, we believe understanding the concept is vital to identifying misinformation in the wild, and ultimately curbing its impact. But what does misinformation mean? Dictionary.com defines it as “false information that is spread, regardless of whether there is intent to mislead.” The recent explosion of misinformation and the growing vocabulary we use to understand it have come up again and again in the work of our lexicographers. Over the last couple of years, Dictionary.com has been defining words and updating terms related to the evolving…


The Fate Of Julian Assange & The Free Press: No Matter What You Think Of Wikileaks, The Risk To All Journalists Is Real

“A really dangerous moment.” On Contact With Chris Hedges RT (11/26/18) Chris Hedges and Joe Lauria, journalist and editor-in-chief, Consortium News, discuss efforts to force #WikiLeaks publisher, #JulianAssange, out of the Ecuador Embassy in London and extradite him to the USA to stand trial. Link to 28-Minute Video Manafort Held Multiple Secret Talks With Assange In Ecuadorian Embassy, Sources Say — Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump’s campaign, the Guardian has been told. Sources have said Manafort went to see Assange in 2013, 2015 and…


For The Sake Of Us All: Break Up Facebook (And while we’re at it, Google, Apple and Amazon)

  By Robert Reich The Guardian (11/20/18) Last week, the New York Times revealed that Facebook executives withheld evidence of Russian activity on their platform far longer than previously disclosed. They also employed a political opposition research firm to discredit critics. There’s a larger story here. America’s Gilded Age of the late 19th century began with a raft of innovations – railroads, steel production, oil extraction – but culminated in mammoth trusts owned by “robber barons” who used their wealth and power to drive out competitors and corrupt American politics. We’re now in a second Gilded Age – ushered in by semiconductors,…


The Facebook Dilemma: A Two-Part PBS ‘Frontline’ Investigation

  Frontline / PBS (10/29/18) The promise of Facebook was to create a more open and connected world. But from the company’s failure to protect millions of users’ data, to the proliferation of “fake news” and disinformation, mounting crises have raised the question: Is Facebook more harmful than helpful? On Monday, Oct. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, FRONTLINE presents The Facebook Dilemma. This major, two-night event investigates a series of warnings to Facebook as the company grew from Mark Zuckerberg’s Harvard dorm room to a global empire. With dozens of original interviews and rare footage, The Facebook Dilemma examines the powerful social media platform’s impact on…


TYT’s Cenk Uygur Destroys Mainstream Media News & The So-Called Liberal Democrats At The National Press Club

Young Turks: Cenk takes the DC dems & mainstream media on a much-needed trip to the woodshed! “This whole town is corrupt. This whole town is toxic.” [Editor’s Note: Watch how the National Press Club president just can’t take it! — Mark L. Taylor] wwwMOXNEWScom (10/26/18) Cenk Uygur, host of “The Young Turks,” joined the National Press Club for a discussion on the role of digital media in the progressive movement. He spoke about the differences between legacy media and digital media, which he said was more honest, effective and relatable due to its populist roots. Mr. Uygur talked about the…


Courageous Groups Of Fact Checkers Defending Online Truth

  The Why Factor / BBC (11/12/18) Fake News – sometimes it’s obvious to spot, other times it requires more thoughtful investigation. That’s a fact checker’s job; dedicated researchers trying to flesh out what is true and what is not in the deluge of information we see every day. In 2015 the International Fact Checking Network was established to give strength to this small but dedicated group. It now has 62 verified signatories. In this episode of the Why Factor on the BBC World Service, Sandra Kanthal speaks with fact checkers from Turkey, the Philippines and Brazil; to find out…


Two Years In, Trump Can Still Count On News Media To Mindlessly Do His Bidding

By George Lakoff George Lakoff’s Facebook Page (10/28/18) Two years in, Trump and the right wing can still count on the news media to do their bidding. Constant repetition of their lies and language help spread it far and wide. They know that constant repetition of lies – even to debunk them – only makes them more sticky. Here are their tactics in use: 1. Frame first, meaning get your understanding of the situation out there. 2. Divert attention from things you don’t want people to pay attention to, for example by attacking somebody else. 3. Attack the messenger or…


Abby Martin On The Future of The ‘Empire Files’ & Growing Corporate Censorship Of Social Media

  [Editor’s Note: Be sure to catch Abby Martin’s comments toward the end of the interview on the recent wanton, despicable Israeli massacre of Palestinians. — Mark L. Taylor] acTVism Munich (10/20/18) In this exclusive interview with independent journalist, filmmaker, activist and founder of The Empire Files, Abby Martin, we talk about why her show was forced to shut down its operations and how people can assist in getting it started again. In addition we talk about U.S. interventions in Venezuela, both past and present, as well as how & why social media giants are increasingly censoring content on the…


The Washington Post Tried To Penalize Writer For Criticizing Owner Jeff Bezos. He Fought Back—And Won

  By David Dayen In These Times (9/18/18) Fredrick Kunkle was upset. A staff writer for the Washington Post’s Metro desk, he noticed Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the owner of his newspaper, musing on Twitter about what to do with his money, which happens to be more than any human being has ever accumulated in modern history. Kunkle had an idea for the funds: reversing the hits Bezos had forced upon Post workers in successive contract negotiations. The co-chair of the Washington-Baltimore News Guild’s collective bargaining unit at the paper, Kunkle witnessed in 2014 Bezos’ management team freeze defined-benefit pensions for non-union employees, replacing them with a lump sum or annuity…


Facebook Empowering Right-Wing Magazine To “Drive Liberal News Outlets Into The Ground”

  By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (9/14/18) When Facebook selected the right-wing, Iraq War-boosting magazine The Weekly Standard as an official fact-checking partner last year as part of its effort to combat “misinformation,” progressives warned that the conservative publication would use its power to suppress accurate articles published by center-left and left-wing outlets. That’s precisely what happened. After ThinkProgress published an article by Ian Millhiser last week arguing that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh’s comments during his Senate confirmation hearings combined with a speech he gave in 2017 eliminates “any doubt” that the judge opposes the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, the Weekly Standard deemed the article “false“—a designation that,…


Washington Pols Have Earned This! VICE News Brings In Two L.A. Paparazzi Hunt Down Top Trump Officials In D.C.

VICE News (8/31/18) In Los Angeles, celebrities are constantly pursued by camera-wielding photographers snapping photos and yelling questions. Things are a bit more tame in Washington, D.C. when it comes to the political celebrities who regularly walk the streets of the district. High level Cabinet officials and politicians are mostly left alone when they are out in public. While the corridors of the U.S. Capitol can be a media gauntlet, outside of predetermined media availabilities high-powered officials can usually go about their business without worrying too much. So VICE News decided to make things slightly more uncomfortable for the people…


Mainstream Media ‘Obit Omit’ — What The Media Leaves Out Of John McCain’s Record Of Militarism & Misogyny

  Fraudulence of American media. Democracy Now! (8/27/18) We host a roundtable discussion on the life and legacy of John McCain, the Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, six-term senator and two-time presidential candidate, who died Saturday at the age of 81 of brain cancer. We speak with Mehdi Hasan, columnist for The Intercept and host of their “Deconstructed” podcast. He’s also host of “UpFront” at Al Jazeera English. He’s been tweeting in response to McCain’s death and wrote a piece last year headlined “Despite What the Press Says, ‘Maverick’ McCain Has a Long and Distinguished Record of Horribleness.”…


Whole New Game: Donald Trump Is A Dangerous Demagogue. It’s Time For A Crusading Press To Fight Back.

  By James Risen The Intercept (8/16/18) When Adolf Hitler came to power, after the Nazis had shut down all of Germany’s independent newspapers and magazines and ended press freedom in the country, Hermann Ullstein, a member of a highly regarded German publishing family, fled to New York and wrote a penetrating memoir of the rise and fall of his family’s media empire. His father, Leopold Ullstein, a Jewish newspaper dealer, had founded Ullstein Verlag, the family publishing house, which at its pre-Nazi peak owned some of Germany’s most important publications, including the Vossische Zeitung newspaper. But when Hitler stole their press…


Former Fox News Analyst Labels Former Colleagues ‘Prostitutes’ For Their Coverage Of Trump

The Commoner Call (8/20/18) During an intense interview with Brian Stelter on CNN’s Reliable Sources Sunday (8/19) morning retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel and former Fox News analyst Ralph Peters laid bare the danger and damage of both Donald Trump and his former employer to the United States. “He is not interested in understanding our government,” Peters said of Trump . “He believes the Constitution is a menu from which he can choose only the most electable items.” “The evil twin of that, I believe as a former Russia analyst for most of my career I’m convinced that the president…


Omarosa Explains The Key: ‘There’s One Way To Shut Donald Trump Down’

“If you ignore him, then you starve him of the thing he loves the most ― and that is controversy and attention.” By Nick Visser The HuffPo (8/15/18) Omarosa Manigault Newman says there’s a lone way to combat President Donald Trump’s fiery rhetoric and constant attacks on Twitter: Don’t give him the attention. “There’s one way to shut Donald Trump down and that is to just don’t give him the oxygen,” Manigault Newman, who served as an aide to the president until her dismissal in December, said on The Daily Show Tuesday night. “And the oxygen comes from the clicks,…


Oh, C’mon, Just Say It! Why Can’t Journalists State The Obvious?

  “Sometimes things are exactly as they appear.” By Mike Lofgren Common Dreams (8/2/18) According to an Annenberg survey, only a quarter of Americans can correctly name the three branches of the federal government. Is that sad fact, like the weather, something that just happens, beyond anyone’s control? Or does something make Americans resistant to the most elementary information? Could the manner in which that information is conveyed to them be so needlessly complex and hedged that people just give up and prefer blissful ignorance? We have seen this phenomenon on display in the way in which the mainstream media hem…


There Is Far More At Stake In Wikileaks Showdown Than Julian Assange’s Fate

  The issues transcend whether you like Assange or not. [Editor’s Note: Julian Assange is a prickly, controversial and not all that nice of a guy. Putting aside one’s personal feelings about him, the Assange case raises huge issues for the future of a free press. This is a much-needed discussion of the issues involved. — Mark L. Taylor] By Peter B. Collins Who.What.Why (6/24/18) As Ecuador’s president, Lenin Moreno, visits London, reports indicate he is about to withdraw asylum for Julian Assange, exposing the WikiLeaks founder to eventual extradition to the United States to face charges under the Espionage…


Missing The Story: Climate Change Is Behind Global Heat Wave. So Why Won’t The Media Say So?

The science is clear. Journalists need to start using it. By Leah C. Stokes The Los Angeles Times (7/15/18) Last week’s heat wave brought record temperatures to Southern California. Hot winds blew fire into my community in Santa Barbara County, ripping through a dozen homes and threatening hundreds more. I tuned into the local news channel, where reporters reminded viewers that we had just finished a record-breaking fire season. They strained to list all the fires we’d had over the past decade. There were too many to recall. Fires are happening a lot more often across California. You can’t accurately…


The Media Have Been Targeted For Violence Since The Beginning Of The Republic

  By Harold Holzer History News Network (7/3/18) Sadly, there is nothing new—or even newsworthy—about violence against American newspapers. The recent, deadly attack on the Annapolis Capital Gazette is merely the latest of the lamentable episodes, scattered through our history, in which aggrieved parties take out frustrations on “the media.” Such assaults began only two years after ratification of the First Amendment guaranteeing freedom of the press. Most were triggered by political animus. In 1793, pro-Federalist Boston editor Benjamin Russell spat in the face of pro-Democratic editor Benjamin Austin, Jr. The transgression cost Russell a twenty-shilling fine, but did little to chill…


America’s Love Affair With The Centrifugal Bumble Puppy

“What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egotism. “Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied…


Legendary Investigative Reporter Seymour Hersh: Media Today Must Cover Yemen & Trump Policy, Not Get Distracted by Tweets

  Democracy Now! (6/20/18) “Our Country’s biggest enemy is the Fake News,” President Trump tweeted last week, in his latest attack on the nation’s press. A week earlier, federal prosecutors revealed they had secretly captured years’ worth of phone and email data from journalist Ali Watkins, who broke several high-profile stories related to the Senate Intelligence Committee. A former top aide on the committee, James Wolfe, has been charged with lying to the FBI about his contacts with the press. Meanwhile, Reporters Without Borders recently dropped the United States to number 45 in its annual ranking of press freedom. When the group…


Most Journalists Missed The Significance & Threat Of The Rise Of Mussolini & Hitler

Warning: Reports on the rise of fascism in Europe were not the American media’s finest hour. By John Broich The Conversation (12/11/16) How to report on a fascist? How to cover the rise of a political leader who’s left a paper trail of anti-constitutionalism, racism and the encouragement of violence? Does the press take the position that its subject acts outside the norms of society? Or does it take the position that someone who wins a fair election is by definition “normal,” because his leadership reflects the will of the people? These are the questions that confronted the U.S. press…


Censorship: Editorial Cartoonist Critical Of Trump Fired From Pittsburgh Newspaper

  Rob Rogers had been with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette for 25 years. By Lydia O’Connor HuffPost (6/14/18) A veteran editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was fired Thursday after he and the newspaper’s management clashed over some sketches critical of President Donald Trump. Rob Rogers, a Pulitzer Prize finalist who had been with the Post-Gazette for 25 years, announced his own ouster on Twitter. Earlier this month, he’d revealed that he was working through “unresolved” issues with the paper’s leaders over certain cartoons that they’d declined to publish. A broader push for less negative Trump coverage in the paper has been linked to John…


Sy Hersh On All The Victims Of America’s War Culture

“Some will claim that I have attempted to exploit some dumb, out of service, overly talkative G.I.s. But few men are exposed to charges of murder… it is not a “naming names and telling all affair.” In fact, one of the strengths is that discriminating readers will know how much more I know — and did not tell. I’m convinced that to give the name and hometown of a G.I. who committed rape and murder that day, or one who beheaded an infant, would not further the aim of the book. It is an exposé, but not of the men…


How A Ragtag Group Of Socialist Filmmakers Produced One Of The Most Viral Campaign Ads Of 2018

  [Editor’s Note: There has long been a need for a cadre of innovative video and internet tech savvy progressives to counter the big money self-serving campaign consultants that turn so many democratic campaigns into desiccated cookie-cutter hack jobs. This story shows the power of Tech + Passion = Powerful Messaging. — Mark L. Taylor] By Zaid Jilani The Intercept (6/5/18) BRONX ACTIVIST AND community organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is challenging longtime New York Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in his primary on June 26. By all measures, the former Bernie Sanders organizeris an underdog, going up against the powerful chair of the House Democratic…